NEW YORK, Jan 15: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called for defeating the scourge of terrorism through a comprehensive approach that gives a push to efforts aimed at resolving long-festering conflicts and crisis spawning extremism.

Addressing UN Security Council as Pakistan’s top diplomat on Tuesday, she said: “We should address the root causes of terrorism”.

She said at the beginning of a debate on the menace of terrorism that Pakistan had taken the initiative to select this ‘difficult’ subject because the threat was evolving and needed corresponding steps to deal with it.

“Pakistan’s initiative for this debate is rooted in our shared objective of global peace, security, stability and development,” the foreign minister told high-level delegates sitting around the council's horse-shoe table.

“As a threat to international peace and security, terrorism has a direct bearing on all of our countries and regions; as well as on individuals and societies. The last decade has shown that terrorism knows no geographical boundaries.”

Ms Khar said one lesson learnt over the past 10 years was that a lopsided or uni-dimensional approach will not work to defeat “this hydra-headed monster of terrorism” which also had tentacles around the world.

“This is truly a global threat. Our strategies and responses must also be global,” the foreign minister said.

“What we are looking for is a comprehensive and interlocking approach which is much more effective than our present effort and which is geared towards not only winning the battles but the war,” she said.

“In the past decade, we have collaborated, as international community, to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat. We must attack and dismantle terrorist networks because they defy the writ of the State and kill civilians. And we must persevere in our efforts to deter and defeat terrorists militarily.”

“And yet our success is - at best - only been partial,” she pointed out.

The foreign minister said: “Terrorism and extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, race, region, value system, or society.

Attributing encouragement, incitement or inspiration of terrorist acts to any religious tradition or doctrine is unacceptable. An honest dialogue between different religions and civilisations is, therefore, a continuing political imperative.”

Ms Khar also stressed the need for regional cooperation.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan have taken steps towards a strategic relationship to jointly fight terrorism. This is a multi-pronged approach to counter terrorism. We are supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-driven reconciliation process; and efforts aimed at creating a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

We believe that peace and stability in Afghanistan will have a direct salutary impact on Pakistan.”

As a victim of terrorism, she said, Pakistan’s comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism was based on Three D’s: deterrence, development and dialogue. The entire nation, the government, the parliament, the judiciary and the civil society were determined to fight terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile in a TV interview ahead of the UNSC meeting, she criticised continuing US drone attacks in Pakistan and said: “They have no legality, they are completely unlawful, and we also believe that on top of everything else they are counterproductive.

“Because you see when drone strikes take place, you take the war away from a Pakistani war against terrorism to being a US war on terrorism, which is enforced on Pakistan.

“And secondly, you give the ideological space for these people to dance around it and to ruin. There is now evidence - not collected by Pakistanis, but by British and Americans - that there is a fair degree of civilian casualties,” Ms Khar noted.

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